Friday, 27 May 2011

My prayer for today

The purpose of religious and liturgical art is, it occurs to me, to enable us to ‘raise our minds and hearts to God’. It should nourish our prayer. This must be the ultimate test of an icon: does it enrich our prayer life?

Today I went to mass – I try to go every Friday – and so many thoughts and feelings crowded in on me as I switched off my ‘phone and went into Church. I felt all mixed up and confused, but as I knelt down the sound of the Rosary being said before mass had a wonderful effect of ordering my thoughts and feelings. At first my mind was full of many thoughts – including and especially those images of Dante’s vision of the Trinity – and the Hail Marys seemed to have a kind of magnetic effect and all my confused thoughts and emotions started to point in the same direction : just like so many iron filings. Dante and Teilhard just fused and one thing became clear to me: that if we are to experience God’s love we do indeed have to go through Mary. And the sense of that also became clear. The journey to the sacred centre – or heart – of creation can only really begin when we become or leastways aspire to become like Mary. That is, when we are – or try to become - completely and wholly open to God’s love. And then the icon of Mary pointing the way – ‘Hodegetria’ - made sense in way it had never done so before. Dante and Teilhard are both saying ‘through Mary to the sacred heart of creation’. ‘The Eternal Feminine leads us on.’ I thought that, but I also felt it.

As I took communion, a prayer emerged which somehow captured what I was thinking and feeling. I cannot express it fully, but it was something like:

Sacred Heart of Jesus come into my heart, come into the very centre of my being. Let your fire burn away all the diseases of my soul, mind and body. Help me to become more open to the divine energy that fills all creation. Help me to become less centred on myself. Become my centre. Live in and light up my heart.

Well, something like that.

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